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Editorial
6 (
2
); 28-30
doi:
10.25259/JISH_59_2023

Slouching toward Bethlehem

Department of Repertory, Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Homoeopathic Institute, Palghar, Maharashtra, India
Corresponding author: Dr. Nikunj J. Jani, Department of Repertory, Dr. M. L. Dhawale Memorial Homoeopathic Institute, Palghar, Maharashtra, India. drnikunj@gmail.com
Licence
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, transform, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

How to cite this article: Jani NJ. Slouching toward Bethlehem. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy 2023;6:28-30.

The world has been in a chronic state of crisis through the past 3-odd years: Be it the pandemic with the loss of human lives and livelihoods, the economic slowdown, the ongoing war in Ukraine and most importantly, climate change.

But how will this impact homoeopathy?

When the pandemic was raging, there was a lot of scepticism toward alternative medicine, especially homoeopathy. Despite all odds, randomised control trials (RCTs) conducted tell us that homoeopathy did have a significant role to play in alleviating distress and reducing mortality and morbidity.[1,2] In spite of multiple studies (including RCTs) using homoeopathy, the acknowledgement in the mainstream media is full of scepticism. There is a renewed, totally misplaced, call to eliminate homoeopathy now from the Indian health offerings.[3]

The financial and economic crises are real. It also affects homoeopathy and homoeopaths in a big way. Across the globe, money has become costly, budgets are tight and expenditures have been slashed. Globally, this has led to people dropping out of using homoeopathy to save, health insurance companies are trying to cut their costs by no longer covering homoeopathy and governments are cutting allocation of funds to homoeopathic research.[4] Again, the narrative is to remove homoeopathy as an essential item. Automatically, it converts into an expensive ‘luxury’ rather than an essential.

The global pharmaceutical crisis is real. We are seeing an increase in the lobbying power of the pharma companies. Newer therapies are being pushed by lobbying and manipulating trial outcomes. We are seeing an enormous rise in chronic diseases and a correspondingly enhanced therapy resistance, due to the indiscriminate use of antibiotics and other drugs. This poses new challenges to homoeopathy as the susceptibility of our patients is considerably altered by the time they land on our doorsteps.

The raging war not only raises concerns about the use of biological/chemical weapons but also poses the risk of a full-blown nuclear holocaust. Nations and lives cannot sustain prolonged wars. The outcome is a vicious cycle of economic slowdown, epidemics/pandemics and pharmaceutical lobbying - all of which in turn will surely affect homoeopathy.

The ecological crisis is a slowly developing one and often the most ignored. We are seeing massive floods, landslides, unusual patterns of rainfall wreaking havoc in a few hours, massive heatwaves and rapidly melting glaciers. The ecological disaster is the least talked about among all the recent calamities but is by far the most dangerous. The impact of chemicals, indiscriminate usage of crop pesticides, waste products and pollution has reached enormous proportions. This is affecting the very essence of health. The need of the hour is to look beyond the indiscriminate chemical usage for more sustainable systems that are more organic, natural and equally effective - in short, greener!

Homoeopathy surely has a role to play in agrochemicals[5-8] and veterinary sciences;[9-12] in fact, it qualifies as the greenest medicinal system.[13] An increased awareness of this may lead to more people opting for more sustainable, endurable ways of averting the crisis - using homoeopathy.

Along with the above, there is an in-house one - the homoeopathic crisis. Increasingly, we are departing from the basic tenets of health, clinical medicine and humanism. Educational standards in our teaching institutions, manufacturing companies, homoeopathic societies and organisations are also nosediving. Different ‘schools’ of homoeopathy are up in arms against each other in the game of gaining more ‘followers’ and are publicly criticising each other. This is the crisis that we as a profession have created inadvertently and it is ours to resolve.

Research is our last priority. Teaching institutions and reputed organisations hardly engage in serious research, the onus is left at the doors of the CCRH, New Delhi.

Of course, humanity is at a crisis point. The stalwart American writer, Joan Didion (a personal favourite of mine) in her essay, ‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem’ describes her personal observations while living in the dystopian California of the late 1960s and early 70s, of the disconnect between generations leading to a moral decline, Didion writes about an entire generation that is lost in their search for purpose and meaningful life. She portrays a picture of a grim world (like our current ongoing scenario) that has lost its way and is desperately scraping for redemption. Is not the current state of homoeopathy the same? Can we redeem and resurrect ourselves?

Research is the first step in the way towards redemption and resurrection. Undertaking simple, small basic projects in an authentic manner and reporting them through scientific publications in peer-reviewed journals can do tremendous good.

In this issue, we bring to you research-based papers in plenty - exploring the thrombolytic activity of homoeopathic medicines using a sophisticated spectrophotometer,[14] literary research dealing with different versions of Boenninghausen’s repertories,[15] and a survey on assessing the awareness of plagiarism amongst faculty and students of homoeopathy.[16] We have a review article discussing the scientificity of the theory of vital principle and the concept of minimum dose.[17] In addition, we also have evidence-based case series[18] and case reports.[19-22]

Didion named her iconic essay (and the book) ‘Slouching Towards Bethlehem’ after the poem ‘The Second Coming’ by the Irish poet W. B. Yeats. His last lines are:

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

…………. its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?’[23]

Any crisis helps in reviewing the situation and ultimately helps in resurrecting and finally healing. It is important for the entire homoeopathic fraternity to reflect and come together as a profession and work collectively to tide over all the crises.

References

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  14. , , , , . Evaluating the thrombolytic property of Juniperus sabina tincture using spectrophotometry. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2023;6:31-8.
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  15. , . Comparing the time modality chapter of the therapeutic pocket book (TPB-German, TPBHempel and TPB-Allen) with Materia Medica Pura or chronic disease-an exploratory study. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2023;6:39-43.
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  16. , . A survey regarding awareness of 'plagiarism while writing articles' among students and faculty members of Indian colleges/universities. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2023;6:44-8.
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  17. . A discussion on the scientificity of the theory of vital principle as a relativistic phenomenon and the concept of minimum dose. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2023;6:49-52.
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  18. , . Management of ovarian cyst through sepia given in LM potency-two case reports. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2023;6:53-60.
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  19. . A case of bell's palsy successfully treated with homoeopathy. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2023;6:61-6.
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  20. , , , , . Impact of individualised homoeopathy in plaque psoriasis-a case report. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2023;6:67-72.
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  21. . Repercussion of physician’s prejudice sensitivity while perceiving man in disease: A case report. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2023;6:73-8.
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  22. , . Role of homoeopathy in neurological disorders highlighting importance of 10W’s and plussing method. J Intgr Stand Homoeopathy. 2023;6:79-85.
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  23. . The second coming. Available from: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43290/the-second-coming [Last accessed on 2023 Aug 20]
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